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April 01, 2005

The Pope's Last Days

By Katie Naranjo

First, thank you for the lovely picture KT. I love you dearly.

No matter what religion you are, or if you are not religious, everyone can appreciate another's religious leader. Pope John Paul II, has been announced to be in the final stages of his life. Vatican officials made statements today that the Pope is deteriorating very fast and has grown very week. Although I am not Catholic, I have seen many great decisions fulfilled by this Pope. In the upcoming weeks, if the Pope does leave this Earth the process of selecting the new Pope will begin. The Vatican officials have warned the cardinals that a conclave might occur sooner then they expected. So key yours eyes peeled, for the next Pope and think about the current Pope too.

For more: http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/04/01/pope1/index.html

Posted by Katie Naranjo at April 1, 2005 04:35 PM | TrackBack


It is interesting that someone was able to make a tragic day even worse by recapping it with the absolute worst bit of writing I have seen in a long time. Surely you are not in college, you are barely literate from what I can tell. This writing was drivel- absolute drivel. Allow me to explain:

"No matter what religion you are, or if you are not religious"

No reason for the comma there- a serious problem of which you are a repeat offender. The sentence is a run-on as well.

"announced to be in the final stages of his life"

Well, he is 84 years old and arguably he has been in the final stages for a decade or so. Try and find something a bit more weighty to it.

"the Pope is deteriorating very fast"

Fast is an adjective, you are modifying a verb- deteriorate. When you modify a verb, you use an adverb. "The Pope is deteriorating quickly" would be more appropriate.

"and has grown very week"

I suppose you mean "weak," but your general lack of literacy or ability to write whatsoever suggests you would make such a mistake.

"many great decisions fulfilled by the Pope"

Let's start with the word "great." This is a dead word that has no weight to it- it is meaningless and boring. Try and pick better adjectives. Yet this is not the sentence's most egregious crime; that would have to be the subject/verb disagreement- decisions aren't really fulfilled. Maybe they can be on some level, but that is not what you are communicating in this sentence. "many great (yuck) decisions MADE by this Pope" perhaps.

"In the upcoming weeks, if the Pope does leave this Earth the process of selecting a new Pope will begin"

First, you needn't use the comma after "upcoming weeks", but if you choose to do so please place a comma after "if the Pope does leave this Earth"- which I am assuming is your parenthetical clause here. Secondly, there is absolutely no reason to have this sentence in the post- we all know that if he dies they get a new Pope. I wasn't under the impression that he was the first and last Pope. So either use this to transition into a new section regarding the selection process for the new Holy Father, or don't write it at all.

"The Vatican officials have warned the cardinals that a conclave might occur sooner then they expected"

To begin, use the word "than" not "then"- one is comparing things, one is describing when something happened. This is 4th grade grammar- is English your first language? Or any language you speak at all? Or do you simply take a great joy in bastardizing the beautiful tongue of Shakespeare, et al? But moving on, this sentence is also meaningless. The conclave would be upon the Pope's death- if the Pope is dying, they expect it to happen upon his death. How could it POSSIBLY be sooner than expected? Unless you have some kind of deep cover source in the Vatican that is unknown to the world press outside of Burnt Orange Report, then this is not only idiotic, but in fact untrue.

"So key yours eyes peeled"

I suppose you mean "keep your eyes peeled", but you manage to make two ludicrously idiotic misspellings in a row. It suggests a serious lack of intelligence.

"for the next Pope and think about the current Pope too"

This is a run-on sentence. Please put a comma (one of the few times you don't use a comma is when it is actually needed) before the word "and." But once again, your writing is empty and without meaning. Think about the current Pope? Why not say something with a bit of weight- not the trite "keep him in your prayers," but something meaningful. "Keep your eyes peeled"? Why would you say something so cliche and worn-out in such a moving and spiritually deep moment? I suppose you must be Southern Baptist or some other god-awful religious tradition that is completely devoid of any historical weight or intelectual stimulation, that leads you to address this weighty moment with such casual excrement.

I don't mean to be rude, but bad writing makes my skin crawl. Your writing has lowered the standards of this once decent website. I hope that you will learn that writing is certainly not one of your strong points, and will take up something else. I'm sure you are bright and well-spoken, but your writing is truly disgusting.

No offense, but just had to say something.

Posted by: not even a catholic at April 1, 2005 07:48 PM

that was not only rude, but mean-spirited to someone who dashed off a note of sorrow.

catholic is not all you aren't. and ashamed is what you should be.

grow up.


Posted by: tony g at April 1, 2005 07:58 PM

Wow, that guy is a real jerk. I'm sure you're very intelligent. You shouldn't let a comment like that get you down too much. People who say things like that take joy in hurting other people.

Though he was a real ass, "not even a catholic" does raise a few good points. You may want to work on sprucing up some of your writing before you put it on the website. For example, try running a spell check before you put stories online.

Another good tip would be to try to mirror the style of Byron, Nate, Andrew, Karl Thomas, Jim, Vince or Zach. These guys are all gifted writers and you have the opportunity to learn alot from them. They tend to be witty, concise and interesting.

Also, consider how you format your posts. Instead of single, rambling paragraphs use structure to strengthen the appeal of your argument. It seems as if you try to say too much at one time.

Finally, consider the subject you are writing about. This is key. Many of your posts seem trite and somewhat ill conceived. Your writing gives the impression that you are in a hurry-- this makes it unapealing to readers.

Anyway, with a little work and guidance I think you will be able to improve your writing exponentially. This website is a great forum, and you should do your best to maintain its current standards.

good luck.

Posted by: Micahel Jackson at April 1, 2005 08:02 PM

Hey Asshole-

Katie Naranjo is a dear friend of mine and one of the brightest people I've ever known. As a freshman in college she stunned me with her understanding of the political world and struck me immediately as someone with an understanding deeper than just books- a really great intuition about her. That you would attack her without having even met her is despicable.

Frankly, we need a diverse set of voices on this board. Jim tends to write in a humorous sort of voice, talking about things that happen on the margins of our society often. Byron has his tongue in cheek observations and his biting wit. Zach has a real ability to intellectualize seemingly simple debates. I try and write from a more personal viewpoint. Karl-T, Vince and Nate have their own styles. Katie's style is a sort of jubilant tone, lilting and uplifting, much like her personality.

In the end, your legalistic turn against her was rude, unfulfilling and bitter without cause. I would ask you to look beyond the dotted i's and crossed t's and look for something deeper in the written word. You are a real jerk, and I hope we never run into one another in person, as I don't take too kindly to people talking bad about my friends- particularly my lady friends.

Please refrain from posting again, or at least do so with some courtesy- if you even understand what that means.

Posted by: Andrew Dobbs at April 1, 2005 10:17 PM

Hahaha. she may be your friend, but she still sucks at writing. i think the guy was a jerk, but she does need to work on her style. i think the approach should have been more constructive, however.

Posted by: no one at April 1, 2005 10:23 PM

it did kind of suck. good thoughts but badly written

Posted by: roberto at April 1, 2005 11:14 PM

What a DICK!

Posted by: Dave at April 1, 2005 11:46 PM

Believe me, you haven't truly arrived until you have been anonymously attacked on the BOR. Congratulations, you've arrived!!! I look forward to many more posts.

Posted by: Dave at April 1, 2005 11:52 PM

yeah man, but the post was still pretty worthless.

Posted by: harris at April 2, 2005 12:48 AM

Apparently someone pissed in "not even a catholic's" cornflakes this morning.

Posted by: Carl Ginsberg at April 2, 2005 12:57 AM

no one - a good name for a nobody.

Posted by: Tim Z. at April 2, 2005 04:51 AM

I've been reading this weblog for quite a while and have enjoyed its contents. However, no matter how well meaning Katie's post was supposed to be, as a piece of prose it is not very well written.

I'm a member of a writers' critique group, and I agree that it is important not to get personal or too negative when you are giving feedback on a badly written piece. It tends to be counterproductive.

But you do have to maintain some sort of standard for the writing on this weblog otherwise people will simply not stop by any more. So I hope Katie takes heed of the feedback (ignoring any personal slights it may include) and learns from it. She should not be discouraged.

If this was just a one off case of posting in a hurry, then fine - be more careful next time, otherwise I would suggest that she have someone else review her posts before they are uploaded - at leat until she finds her feet.

The key lesson is - don't give up!

Posted by: Mike Walker at April 2, 2005 01:29 PM

Regarding the purpose of the post, I'm afraid I can't get too worked up about the passing of the Pope. That's not to say I don't have sympathy for those close to him - the death of a friend or family member is always a tough time.

I'm more concerned about his legacy. Yes, he may have done some wonderful things in his life - resisting the Nazis, the Communists, standing up against capital punishment, and so on.

But there is a darker side to his legacy. He shifted the church towards a more conservative social doctrine. This has set back efforts to stamp out AIDS by discouraging the use of condoms thereby condemning countless thousands of good Catholics to an agonizing death. His attitudes towards women in the church, to homosexuals, and his revitializing of the practise of creating hundreds of new saints were all downright medieval. And while he may have help bring about the end of the communist oppression in eastern Europe, his suppression of liberation theology in Latin America set back the efforts for social reform in those countries.

It is common in moments like these to focus on the positive side of someone's legacy. He was obviously loved and adored by millions around the world. But it does history a disservice to forget the darker side of his actions as one of the most powerful men of the 20th century.

I, for one, hope that the new Pope's legacy is more than a little less "conservative".

Posted by: Mike Walker at April 2, 2005 01:50 PM

From Not even a Catholic's post:
"...completely devoid of any historical weight or intelectual stimulation... "

Buddy, before you needlessly criticize a fellow writer, spell-check your own pedantic post. "Intelectual"? I beleive it's intellectual. I bet Katie could tell you that too.

And of course, "no offense, but just had to say something."

Posted by: tit for tat at April 2, 2005 03:25 PM

Well I look like a fool getting on my soapbox with "beleive" instead of "believe".
Please excuse the error

Posted by: tit for tat at April 2, 2005 03:26 PM

What a collection of arrogant, self-important assholes. C'mon, tell us again how intelligent you are by picking at miniscule or non-existent errors.

Posted by: a visitor at April 2, 2005 04:24 PM

I just read the comments to this post today.

To "not even a catholic": You are a real piece of work.

Feel free to disagree with those of us who post here on BOR. Feel free to think that we are out of touch. But for crying out loud, have the balls to post your real name and add an intellectual element to your posts!

You wrote a mean-spirited, insulting post to someone completely undeserving of such. Katie is new at blogging, and as someone who graduated with a degree in English, I can tell you that good writing takes a love of the craft, but excellent writing takes practice. I have never met Katie, but the fact that she has the energy and enthusiasm to post on this blog and deal with the likes of you speaks volumes.

Although I am a published author, former Editor-in-Chief for the newsletter of the University Democrats and have been blogging on this site as well as my own for awhile, I still need practice. No matter how well someone writes, there is always room for improvement. Care to discuss the finer points of my mechanical use of language and grammar? Bring it on.

We all go out on a limb here and post our real names and our real beliefs. If you wanted to help Katie with her writing, you would have e-mailed her personally and nicely suggested a tip or two. But you took the coward's way out.

Katie, it is a rite of passage for BOR bloggers to be attacked by those who wish to remain anonymous. You are now officially a BOR blogger. :)

Posted by: Andrea Meyer at April 2, 2005 06:41 PM

Whether she was attacked anonymously or not isn't the point. Despite not a catholic's lack of taste, the point remains that katie cannot write very well. While it is good to encourage her efforts, teaching her to write in this context is wrong headed. Bad writing decreases the legitimacy of this website and makes you all look bad. BOR is finally getting some noteriety. By bringing on really bad writers who have limited anaylytical abilities you threaten to decrease readership. This weakens your potential to do good.

Anyway, the bottom line is this: YOU SHOULD NOT ALLOW KATIE TO WRITE HERE ANYMORE. teach her for a while and then bring her back on. as it stands now though her lack of knowledge/ skill is gonna hurt you guys.

also, im not being anonymous-- however most people post anonymosuly becuase they simply dont want to put there name on the internet-- it in no way decreases the legitimacy of their comments.

and yes, i know there are grammatical errors in my post.

Posted by: Michael Kaufman at April 2, 2005 07:38 PM

Thank you all for your comments, those defending and criticizing my writing. I will take them all to heart and hopefully improve upon my writing skills. I encourage you all not to judge BOR and my writing from this single article, and to continue reading and providing feedback.
Respectfully Yours,
Katie Naranjo

Posted by: Katie at April 2, 2005 10:41 PM

I think the point of the feedback was this: STOP WRITING!! you won't be accepting everyone's comments until you stop posting on this website. jesus christ do us all a favor... please

Posted by: billy kerr at April 3, 2005 12:49 PM

The next Pope may be the last
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Will the next Pope be the "False Prophet"
that will deliver the Church to the Anti-Christ?


* * *

Posted by: Gabriel Mahony at April 14, 2005 04:04 PM
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